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The Boston Bruins defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0 in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Monday night, giving them a 2-1 lead in the best of seven series, which will remain in Boston for Game 4 on Wednesday.
Coming off of two thrillers in Chicago, which included a combined four overtime periods, the teams remained deadlocked through the first period. But in the second period, it was Daniel Paille who again gave Boston a dramatic lead. Corey Crawford didn’t stand much of a chance after Paille gained control of the puck to the right of the net, turned, and fired at close range, giving him his second consecutive huge goal.
Patrice Bergeron scored an insurance goal on the power play later in the second period, but the story of the night was once again the tremendous play of Tuukka Rask. He has now allowed one goal or fewer in nine of 19 postseason games, with the shutout his third over that stretch and second consecutive at home. Rask is a pair of wins shy of replicating the performance of Tim Thomas in the playoffs two seasons ago when the Bruins won the Cup.
A significant factor in the game was the absence of Marian Hossa, who was apparently injured during warm ups, and the Blackhawks clearly suffered without him leading their offense.
Game 3 proved to be the first definitive victory by either side in the series to this point. The Bruins played well but let Game 1 slip away, while the Blackhawks were cheated by the officiating crew on a possible goal in regulation in Game 2. And despite difficult conditions on the ice, which caused a great deal of bouncing pucks, the Bruins were at their very best on Monday night as they took control of the series.